Episode ThemeCommunity-Building: Never judge a book by its cover.
People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
A long time ago, a man asked Jesus, "Who are my neighbors?" Jesus told a story about a man who was travelling from Jerusalem to Jericho. The people listening knew that route and knew that the man travelling alone might be trouble. Sure enough, in the story,the man was attacked, robbed and left for dead. Everybody listened to Jesus' story hoping that the man would be alright.
Jesus then told them that a priest was coming down the road. The listeners knew that priests were religious leaders and knew their Old Testament passages well. That priest would help out the hurting man, for sure! The audience could not believe it when Jesus told them that the priest walked by on the other side. The audience had judged that since the priest was a fellow Jew that he would have helped the hurting man.
Then Jesus told them that a scribe was coming down the road. The listeners knew that scribes worked in the temple. That scribe would help out the hurting man, for sure! Again, Jesus told them that the scribe walked by on the other side. The audience could not believe what was happening.
Then Jesus said that a Samaritan had come on the scene. During Jesus' time, Jews and Samaritans did not like each other. In the minds of people listening to Jesus' story, all Samaritans were bad. They had judged the book by its cover! Then Jesus tells them that the Samaritan rescued the hurting man, brought him to safety and paid for his care. The audience were totally surprised by this story's ending. They had expected the bad Samaritan to pass by on the other side. They may have thought that the Samaritan might hurt the man even more. They saw in the story that the Samaritan was good because of his care and actions.
Then Jesus asked, “Which one of these three people was a real neighbor to the man who was beaten up by robbers?”
The man answered, “The one who showed pity.”
Jesus said, “Go and do the same!”